Because many of you have roses, I want to give you an update on Rose Rosette Virus. According to an article published in the April 2016 issue of Grower Talks, this virus continues to be a growing problem. It is specific to all roses, (none are known to be resistant), and is especially severe where large groups of roses, particularly multi-flora roses are grown. The virus which originates in infected plants, is spread by an eriophyd mite and by propagation/pruning of infected plants.
Symptoms to look for include:
- Pink/red elongated stems (aka canes).
- Distorted buds and flowers.
- Witches brooms, (abnormal growth) at tops of stems.
- Thick distorted stems and excessive thorns. (Note – this may be confused with a mis-application of glyphosate (Round-Up)).
- Stunting followed by defoliation and death.
So, what should you do?
- Remove completely any infected plants and properly dispose as soon as any of the above noted symptoms occur.
- Weekly monitor your plants.
- To prevent the spread of mites, which occur during hot, dry weather, treat with an approved miticide.
- When pruning your roses, sterilize the pruning blades by dipping them in a 10% solution of bleach each time before you make a cut.
Research is ongoing by the USDA, numerous universities, and rose growers seeking how to eliminate/control this pest. For further updates, go to Facebook.com and search for Combating Rose Rosetta.